Saudi’s Islamist Autocrat to Visit UK with Royal Honours

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shown here on October 24, 2017, has denounced Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the "new Hitler of the Middle East"

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Islamist ruler of Saudi Arabia, is due to visit London in early March, groups have claimed.

He is expected to be wooed by senior royals during his visit, with a possible trip to Windsor Castle, The Times reports.

Reports of the visit come as the Liberal Democrats, Labour Party, and many Conservative politicians have opposed a visit from the democratically elected leader of the U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

The Liberal Democrats have called for the trip to be “cancelled”, claiming the president is “divisive”, and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed massive demonstrations against Mr. Trump’s visit.

John Bercow, the Conservative speaker of the House of Commons, has said Mr. Trump is “not welcome”, promising to ban the president from parts the Palace of Westminster if he comes.

So far, there has not been a comparable outcry against the presence of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, where minorities and dissidents are regularly persecuted and executed and women are treated as second-class citizens.

The prince has attracted heavy criticism for leading Saudi Arabia into a bloody proxy war in Yemen from March 2015, aimed at preventing Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels taking control of the strategically placed neighbour.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), which opposes the sales of British weapons to the kingdom, said police had confirmed that they expect Prince Mohammed to visit from 7th to 9th of March.

They promised to protest the visit, writing on their website: “The government wants to make more arms deals. But we know Saudi Arabia is sensitive to public criticism, so if enough of us speak out we can stop the visit.”

“The crown prince is a figurehead for a regime with one of the worst human rights records in the world,” Andrew Smith of CAAT told The Times.

“He has overseen the devastating bombardment in Yemen, which killed thousands of people and created a terrible catastrophe.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.